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Too drunk to drive? Be careful if you want to take an in-car nap

Getting a DUI is a financial and legal burden no matter who you are. Not only that, but a DUI conviction can shame you and negatively affect your job prospects for many years to come.

Because of the potential negative effects, and the risk that driving drunk entails, it's understandable that Colorado residents would do anything to avoid driving drunk -- even taking a nap in their automobiles when they realize they're too drunk after getting on the road. However, if you simply pull over and try to sleep off your drunkenness, be warned: Police could still charge you with a DUI.

What you can do to prevent a DUI while napping

Pulling over on the side of the road and taking a nap while you're too drunk to drive is never recommended. It's better to not get behind the wheel in the first place; or, if you pull off to the side of the road, exit your vehicle immediately, call a taxi and do not wait inside your vehicle.

However, if you don't have a choice, here are a few things you should do while you take a nap in your car:

  • Don't sit in the driver's seat. You want to make it clear that you're not driving your car, so you should exit the driver's seat and move to the back seat for your nap if possible. Alternatively, consider getting into the passenger side of your car.
  • Get your keys out of your pocket. Put them in the trunk: With the keys in the trunk, you'll have a better chance of convincing police you didn't intend to drive drunk.
  • Consider getting out of your car and sitting on a park bench. No matter what you do, if you're in your car, you'll still be at risk of a DUI accusation. You're much better off exiting your vehicle and taking a nap on a park bench. In some cases, a Colorado court could rule that you were drunk driving if you simply "could possibly drive."

Were you accused of "drunk parking?"

Were you accused of "drunk parking" -- i.e., drunk "driving" while your vehicle was parked? You may be in a better circumstance than someone accused of driving who police actually witnessed driving. Knowing more about your legal rights regarding the DUI defense options available to you can help you try and get your charges dropped or dismissed, or at least seek a reduction in punishments if a conviction is likely.

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Too drunk to drive? Be careful if you want to take an in-car nap | Martin & Reed, LLC